Red Rocks Community College
News Release

Red Rocks Community College
News Release
More information: Kim Rein




NSF Awards RRCC Grant for Water Quality Management Program

LAKEWOOD, CO -- As Denver-area market demand for water grows, so does the demand for well-educated workers in the water and wastewater industries. The Water Quality Management program at Red Rocks Community College has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for $570,000 in light of the need to expand and maintain local infrastructure. These funds will be used for a state-wide expansion of the WQM program and to partner with local industry to expand and enhance training for water technicians.

“Rural areas have become more and more urbanized,” said Colleen Jorgensen, Red Rocks Community College Vice President of Instruction. “Demands on our water supply have only grown heavier. Most systems were designed to last about 20 years but are much older, and require maintenance or replacement by qualified professionals. We aim to help Denver, and all of Colorado, to meet the increasing need for water by providing a solid education for technicians in relevant fields.”

The grant is from the NSF's Advanced Technological Education program, which strives toward better education of technicians to innovate within and maintain the infrastructure that keeps our country running and drives the American economy. The ATE program focuses on helping two-year colleges such as RRCC provide a more comprehensive science and engineering education, especially to those who wish to work in technical fields like water quality management.

“Jobs in water management need to be locally held. Looking overseas to fill these hands-on positions as the baby boomers start to retire is not practical. We'll use the grant money to produce a higher caliber of environmental technology and water quality management graduate,” Jorgensen said.

RRCC will use the money for curriculum development: specifically, to create mobile training labs, in developing online courses, hiring faculty, and expanding partnerships with four-year institutions. These developments will enable the college to provide a better technical education and increase the quality of the local workforce.

More about the National Science Foundation: The NSF was created by Congress in 1950 as an independent federal agency to provide funding for scientific, health, and defense projects that further the prosperity and well-being of the United States. Around 20 per cent of all federally supported research conducted by American colleges and universities is funded by the NSF. The Foundation empowers practitioners of fundamental science and engineering.

More about the Advanced Technological Education program: The ATE provides funding for technological education at the K-12 and undergraduate level with an emphasis on the two-year college. The program partners with schools and employers to improve the education of the science and engineering technicians who keep America running smoothly. The ATE also welcomes proposals for research that will advance technician education.

More about Red Rocks Community College
: Since 1969, Red Rocks Community College has delivered quality education to students of all ages and backgrounds. RRCC offers more than 300 programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates and serves over 14,000 students per year at campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada.